Back in the 1960’s Toyo Kogyo (Mazda) obtained the rights to build the rotary engine from its designer Felix Wankel. The Wankel engine had been used in NSU cars built in West Germany but they proved to be very unreliable. Once Mazda began to produce engines under license, they carried out a lot of research and development to improve the reliability and performance of the rotary. Models like the Cosmo/110S and R100 were the first models to receive the new powerplants called the 10a which had approx 1000 cc.
The 12a engine was the next model produced which was 200 cc larger than the 10a. It entered service with the RX-2 and then the RX-3, with the last model to use it being the RX-7 in the early 1980’s. While no longer in production, the engine is still used in many cars and is often modified to produce significantly more power than originally intended.
Carrying out a 12a rebuild requires significant knowledge and training that a normal mechanic would never receive. Therefore it’s important to deal with rotary engine specialists who have the skills to carry out the work correctly. If you are looking for more performance from your engine then having the intake and exhaust ports enlarged at the time of the 12a rebuild will provide a considerable saving in labour cost.
A professional rotary shop will, in most cases replace all the seals and gaskets with genuine Mazda parts, check the condition of the bearings and replace if necessary. All parts will be cleaned and inspected to ensure they are fit for purpose. Having the rotors finely balanced to remove any vibration while in operation should be considered an essential part of a
http://www.rotarypower.co.nz/category/rotary-rebuild/12a-rebuild”>12a rebuild, but is often overlooked because there is extra cost involved.
The life expectancy of an engine depends on it’s intended application. If the engine has been modified for use in drag racing, because of the high power output and rpm involved then the engine life will be rather limited. However if the engine has minor or no performance modifications and is operated within limitations then the owner should get considerable use and enjoyment from it.
Grant Munro is a very highly skilled rotary engine specialist learning this trade from his father, one of the most knowledgeable and respected engineers to race and rally car operators, providing top quality engines to competitors around the world.
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